Archive for August, 2014

Meerkats, Chiku and Kali, were greeted by the celebrity Stephen Fry, when he officially opened their new enclosure in the award-winning Brent Lodge Park Animal Centre in Hanwell.


Stephen Fry, Cllr Bassam Mahfouz and Ealing Mayor Cllr Tej Bagha opening the new Meerkat and Porcupine enclosure in Brent Lodge Park

Stephen Fry, Cllr Bassam Mahfouz and Ealing Mayor Cllr Tej Bagha opening the new Meerkat and Porcupine enclosure in Brent Lodge Park

The female meerkats were given to the park by Tilgate Nature Centre, as their group was getting too big and they needed a new home.

The enclosure, built with help from local volunteers, is also home to Hatari, an African Cape porcupine. It is the latest in a series of regeneration works which have been completed in the park.

Other developments include the renovation of the lake area including the introduction of a variety of waterfowl, refurbishment of the café and the launch of keeper for a day scheme, where children can get hands-on experience with the animals.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said:  “Brent Lodge Animal Centre is an amazing hidden gem.  This is yet another fantastic addition to what is already a family favourite attraction. I urge everyone to go and visit the centre and enjoy all the facilities on offer.”

Brent Lodge Park Animal Centre is part of Brent Lodge Park, which recently retained its Green Flag Status for a second year.  The park also includes a playground, hedge maze and a butterfly house and a gift stall, which is managed by Ealing Mencap.

Residents can watch the TV presenter and actor opening the new enclosure online in the latest issue of Around Ealing, the council’s magazine for residents.  People can also sign-up to receive the monthly email Around Ealing Extra which provides regular updates and extra details on stories and information in Around Ealing.

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Let the fun begin: Walpole playground opens

Cllr Mahfouz with his son Alexander enjoying the opening day of the Walpole Park play area

Cllr Mahfouz with his son Alexander enjoying the opening day of the Walpole Park play area

The new playground in Walpole Park, Ealing opened on Friday, 15 August.

The brand new playground replaces the old Walpole play space and is separated into two distinct areas: one for toddlers and pre-schoolers and an area for more challenging play for older children.

The toddler play area is fully enclosed by sheep hurdle fencing, reminiscent of the former cow yard that originally occupied the site.

A large sand pit provides a safe environment for children to explore the playhouse with a climbing net and wide slide, mini roundabout and wobbly sheep. There is also a ‘Jack Straws’ see-saw for little ones who feel more adventurous and a Wendy house and storytelling chair for quiet play or role-play games.

Older children can try their hand at the large climbing ‘forest’, which features daring rope walks and bridges and an extra high slide. As well as traditional swings, there is a hexagonal tyre swing frame and a nest swing for group play.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, brought his four year old son, Alexander to the new playground. He said:

“This is a really fantastic play space that I know parents and children alike have been itching to get into with so many interesting and exciting elements.  The younger children love the fun they can have in the sand, whilst older kids enjoy the challenge of a brilliant activity course.  It looks amazing and I know I’ve certainly got one very happy customer who can’t wait to go back and take his friends.”

The new children’s playground is part of a wider scheme of improvements to Walpole Park that has been going on since September 2013 and is funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Parks for People’ grant of £2.4million.

Other improvements include: restoring the heritage bridge, stonework and water features; restoring the pond; re-landscaping the bridge and surrounding area; and re-surfacing and widening footpaths.  A new education centre; The Rickyard, will also house a refreshment kiosk and visitor toilets.  It is due to open in the autumn.

A further £2.7million was also contributed by Ealing Council and other small external grants towards the entire Walpole Park restoration project; including delivering a programme of events and activities.

Equipment from the previous play space at Walpole Park that has not been reinstated into the new playground will be relocated in other parks in Ealing. Other materials will be recycled with the Selbourne Society using some of the wooden fence rails to improve disabled access at its Perivale Wood site.

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Hanwell Station is about to become more accessible to commuters with its second entrance to reopen again for the first time since it was bricked up in the 1970s.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, Onkar Sahota AM, Virendra Sharma MP and Hanwell Labour Councillors celebrating delivery of their promise to re-open the southern entrance at Hanwell Station

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, Onkar Sahota AM, Virendra Sharma MP and Hanwell Labour Councillors celebrating delivery of their promise to re-open the southern entrance at Hanwell Station

From September work will begin on the £300,000 project to revive the abandoned entrance on Station Approach. The work also includes new paving, upgraded lighting, new CCTV cameras, a new canopy, cycle parking and new seating.

The second entrance was originally closed amid security fears, but the area has since changed and restoring the original design was identified with local stakeholders as a key priority to improve access to the station and ease commuter congestion.

Funding for the scheme was announced in April 2014 with Ealing Council contributing £50,000, along with £250,000 in funding from TfL. Train company First Great Western will project manage the construction which is due to be completed and open in the autumn.

The work to open the southern entrance of the Grade II listed building has been given listed building consent and approval from English Heritage.

During the construction phase the station will operate as normal and commuters will not be affected with the northern entrance on Campbell Road remaining open.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Residents in Hanwell have been calling for the southern entrance to be reopened for years so I’m delighted that we’re able to deliver on this key promise.

“We are improving access to public transport across the borough and the new entrance will make Hanwell Station easier to use and give people better access to Crossrail when it arrives.”

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Ealing Council has launched its new ‘on the go’ recycling bins covered in artwork by local young people and children.


Cllr Bassam Mahfouz with competition winners and their winning designs in Elthorne Park

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz with competition winners and their winning designs in Elthorne Park

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, was at Elthorne Park, Hanwell, this week testing out one of five new public recycling bins.

It is hoped that the new bins will further support residents’ recycling efforts and contribute to the council’s target to recycle 50% of household waste.

Councillor Mahfouz said: “The new service has extended the boundaries of recycling to outside the house, making it possible for residents to recycle even more.  The bins complement our fast paced lifestyle, and now, whether you’re at home or outdoors, you can recycle and help the environment.”

More than 100 students, aged 5-16, entered the Ealing environmental art competition with 20 entries selected to feature on the new bins.

Each art piece portrays a unique environmental message which can be explored at ‘on the go’ locations in Ealing Common, Northala Fields, Acton Park, Elthorne Park and Norwood Green.

The following items can all be placed in the one bin making it even easier to recycle.

• Mixed paper – including newspapers, magazine and paper serviettes
• Plastic – including bottles and food containers
• Cans – including drink cans, food tins and foil wrap

For more information about the ‘on the go’ service please

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The Bollywood movie, ‘English Vinglish’ is being shown on the roof of Springbridge Road car park on bank holiday Monday, 25 August.

Bollywood movie, English Vinglish at Springbridge Road car park

An exclusive showing of a music video from upcoming Asian singer Shama will start the one-off, night’s entertainment, before the main film which will be shown from 8.30pm.

English Vinglish is a comedy drama about a sweet tempered housewife who puts up with daily criticism from her husband and daughter because of her lack of English. The film features the famous Bollywood actress, Sridevi in her first leading role for 15 years.
The globally acclaimed film’s rooftop debut at Springbridge Road car park is part of the wider Rooftop Society month-long cinema event. The Bollywood night is being organised by Ealing Council and is sponsored by Elephant Atta; with Serco as the supporting sponsor. The event is also supported by Luv Asia Radio.
Ealing Broadway Business Improvement District (BID) (Make it Ealing) have worked with innovative events management company, Cellardoor to host a pop up rooftop cinema, which is in residence for the whole of August and the Bollywood film is just one of a whole range of films being screened.
Tickets cost £13 (plus a handling charge) and can be purchased online at Rooftop Society cinema-goers will also be able to buy drinks and popcorn from the bar between 7 and 8.30pm before they sit back and enjoy the movie.
Proceeds raised by Ealing Council for the sponsorship of the Bollywood night will go towards Ealing BID for the cost of rooftop cinema and the event itself.  The rest of the money will be used to regenerate the unused car park office into a pop-up shop for local businesses, as part of the wider parking services project.
Ealing Council’s cabinet member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz said:
“Enjoying a film outdoors is a great way to make the most of these summer evenings. I’m delighted that we’ve turned the top floor of Springbridge Road Car Park into an open air cinema again.  It is amazing how great the space looks once it’s transformed and makes for an unforgettable evening.  You can even order a take away to be delivered to you or enjoy some traditional popcorn and drink. Special thanks to Ealing BID who we’ve worked with to deliver this.”
Ann Hunter, Chief Executive of Ealing Broadway BID said: “A safer and more secure town centre with innovative cultural activities helps put Ealing on the map and is good for business.”
Anne Adshead, Senior Brand Manager of Elephant Atta says:
“With over 50 years of heritage Elephant Atta is the most popular brand in the UK’s ethnic flour market and is known for its chapattis which are enjoyed by thousands of South Asians every day. Bollywood movies provide great family entertainment and celebrating family ties and traditions has always been at the core of the brand and what it stands for.”
Tickets for the Bollywood Night are available to purchase from

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A man has been ordered to pay more than £2,400 after he was caught vandalising a street tree in Tavistock Avenue, Perivale.

Tavistock Avenue Tree VandalKieran Whitney, who lived in nearby Bideford Avenue, Perivale at the time of the offence, appeared before Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 5 August, where he was found guilty of criminal damage.The court heard that Mr Whitney had been seen cutting the branches of the Mountain Ash by a local resident. The council’s envirocrime team investigated the allegations and this resulted in the prosecution.The court ordered him to pay £2,419.32, which includes a £210 fine for criminal damage, £1,088.32 in compensation to Ealing Council for the loss and replacement of the tree, legal costs of £1,100 and the victim surcharge of £21.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, said:

“Ealing has a great reputation for being a leafy borough and it is appalling that anyone would take it upon themselves to damage a tree and ruin the street for their neighbours.

“We take all vandalism cases seriously and I hope that this case will discourage others from undertaking such reckless behaviour.”

Residents can report antisocial acts including fly-tipping and graffiti online on the council’s website:

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Ealing’s recycling rate has risen to 44%, propelling the borough closer to its 50% recycling target.
An extensive awareness campaign was launched last year to help drive recycling rates up. In the past year a total of 39897 tonnes of household waste was recycled and diverted from landfill, saving the millions of pounds in landfill tax. New recycling services introduced such as the collection of furniture and small electrical items have also contributed to the increased rate.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment said “I am incredibly proud that Ealing is recycling more and wasting less. As other London boroughs stall, our recycling rates have continued to rise and we continue to be at the forefront with our inventive communications. Every tonne that we divert from landfill not only has an environmental benefit but also saves us money, which we can then spend on valuable services.”

To encourage residents to recycle more, the council has launched an innovative new website that shows what every day household items people can recycle in an interactive and visual way.

The website allows users to travel and explore through each room of a house and identifies recyclable objects, including some more unusual items such as batteries, light bulbs, cooking oil and furnishings.

Councillor Mahfouz added “This website, as far as we know, is the first of its kind and is part of our pioneering 50% recycling campaign. There are so many things that can be recycled in Ealing. This engaging website helps people to understand what, how and where they can recycle.”

Visit the website now at

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